The Essential House Book by Terrence Conran

I recommend to anyone interested in home improvement, a book by Sir Terrence Conran; The Essential House book – the comprehensive source book to home design. It’s a perfect read for anyone who is open for some great advice and enjoy looking at gorgeous pictures.


In the first part of the book, a sense of place, Conran gives an introduction to the basic concepts of the home design. You get acquainted with form, patterns, color, room and light, as well as a closer look at the importance of history and tradition. What constitutes a home? – he asks, but he leaves it to the reader to come up with the true answer, which is as diverse as individuals and families themselves.

The second part, room for change, is an architectural guide with advice on small and large scale changes you might want to make in your house. It discusses both the technical infrastructure of a house; namely electricity, plumbing, ventilation and heating; and the functionality and aesthetics of the house plans.

Whether you need to rearrange some of the rooms, or build an extension of some kind, Terrence Conran will guide you through it (or at least point you in the right direction). There are also plenty of tips on how to get organized, which he discussed more in debt in the book called Storage Get Organized.

In the third part, rooms for living, Sir Terrence walks you through the different functions of a home; cooking, eating, resting, sleeping, bathing, etc. Both conventional and unconventional ways of grouping and dividing these functions into rooms are addressed and sensuously illustrated. A great source of inspiration and information for your next redecorating project.

Then there’s a directory with practical advice regarding the different elements of a building; walls, roof, floor, windows and furnishing. And a short section on avoiding trouble, such as moisture and rot, security breaches, leakage, and the like.

Sir Terrence Conran is one of the world‘s leading interior architects and the founder of the Habitat, a chain of interior stores. The Essential House Book is a follow up of the original House Book, by the same author, which caused a furore when it came out in 1974. The Essential House Book came out in 1994, and it has since proven itself to be, in fact, an essential handbook for anyone who owns a home, or lives in one.

Read more about Sir Terrence Conran here.

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